USDA'S REPORT TO CONSUMERS
MITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE ■ OFFICE OF INFORMATION • WASHINGTON, D.C. 20250
Plentiful Foods . Easte
hold the spotlight. The
them among the featured
plentiful foods. Here'
April: Eggs, beef, fish, orang
peanuts and peanut products. May:
ine, but eggs still
pril and May lists of
month and next,
orange juice, grapefruit,
Eggs, orange juice, beef
Handle Eggs with Care . To protect the high quality of the eggs
you buy, keep them cold. Avoid leaving them in a hot car — or in
a hot kitchen, for that matter — for any length of time. Extreme
variations in temperatures, or lengthy exposure to high
temperatures, can lower the quality of eggs.
Which End Up? Eggs should be stored big end up. It keeps the
yolks centered, say poultry specialists at the U.S. Department
of Agriculture. And here's another tip. Store eggs in the paper
carton in which you bought them. The covering retards moisture
loss and helps prevent absorption of odors.
At the Supermarket . Where did you buy that tube of toothpaste ,
bottle of aspirin, can of hair spray? There's a fifty-fifty
chance it was at your grocery store. Nearly 20 percent of each
week's "grocery" bill goes for non-food items, say U.S. Depart-
ment of Agriculture food economists.
Frank Facts . If you want to know the facts, Ma'am, read the
label on the meats you buy. On frankfurters, for example, look
for the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection mark. If the
product is produced in a plant selling across State lines , the
mark will be there. It's required by law. The mark guarantees
wholesomeness and that not more than 3.5 percent of the weight of
the frank is cereals and/or nonfat dry milk. While some filler
may be required to process the product properly, more filler
means less meat for your money. USDA inspection prevents this.
Don't Eat the Leaves . Don't eat the leaves of rhubarb. The
succulent stalks are excellent for sauces and pies. The leaves,
however, are poisonous. According to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, rhubarb leaves contain amounts of oxalic acid and of
oxalates sometimes great enough to cause the fatal poisoning of
those who eat them.
- 2 -
Shopping Tip . Buying lettuce this week-end? Don't go for the firmest head. It may
not be the best. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says a head of iceberg lettuce
should be firm but not solid — maybe even a little loose. Also, look for heads with
green outer leaves. The greener the lettuce, the more vitamins you get.
Dining Out . More money in your pocket. More meals eaten out. That's been the pattern
of U.S. food spending in recent years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In 1955, families spent about $5 a week for snacks and meals away from home; in 1965,
about $6. But that's the average family. A lot depends on income. At $3,000 or less
a year, a family spends only $2 a week for food away from home. Over $10,000 this
figure jumps to $14.
YARD AND GARDEN
Color It Green With Trees . As colorful as its name , this booklet offers home owners ,
amateur gardeners and others interested in the beautif ication program a calendar of
activities to improve and protect America's ornamental and shade trees. It's based on
USDA research findings. In spring and fall there are planting tips, in summer how-to-
water information, in winter suggestions to prevent snow damage. You'll find this
full-color publication not only informative but beautiful as well--a creditable contri-
bution to the very program it promotes. For a free copy write to the Office of Infor-
mation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Please include your
zip code and request on a postcard.
Windowsill Greenhouse . Program chairman of your garden club? Then here's just the
thing for an interesting activity session. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a
color slide set with how-to-do-it instructions for taking cuttings from philodendrons ,
geraniums, hollies, mockorange, azaleas, yews, junipers--you name it! The slide set,
together with a demonstration in which everyone can participate, makes an excellent
garden club program almost any time of the year. Cuttings may be taken from foliage
plants all year round; garden flowers from late May to September; flowering shrubs and
broadleaved evergreens, mid- June to mid- August ; conifers, January to early February.
The 38 slides take your audience step-by-step through the program. They cost only
$5.50. They may be purchased from: The Photography Division, Office of Information,
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. A filmstrip also is available
for $5 from Photo Lab Inc., 3825 Georgia Ave., N.W. , Washington, D.C. 20011.
Figure the Percentages . When buying a mixed bag of lawn seed, don't be confused by
the percentages on the package. Figure the size of the seed before you jump to con-
clusions. A pound package of mixed lawn seed may contain only 5 percent Kentucky blue-
grass, yet in that 5 percent may be nearly 110,000 tiny seeds (each a potential blade
of grass). Compare this with the other percentages in the mix. Twenty percent red
fescue will give you 109,000 seeds. Forty percent ryegrass, only 90,000, and 30 per-
cent Kentucky 31, a scant 68,000 seeds. What about the other 5 percent in the package?
That's inert material — and possibly a few weed seeds.
Don't Get Stung . You've got to be sneaky to kill wasps — and not get stung. Get rid
of them at night, say U.S. Department of Agriculture scientists. Spray the insecticide
directly into the nest. Then, if it's a ground nest, toss on a shovelful of moist soil
to prevent the wasps from escaping and birds, pets and children from getting into the
insecticide. A new 8-page booklet tells all about wasps — and that includes hornets,
yellow jackets, Polistes , mud daubers and the cicada killer. You may order from the
Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Ask
for G-122, "Controlling Wasps." Send 5 cents and your name, address and zip code.
- 3 -
Booklets for Yard and Garden . If you want a better lawn, a prettier garden, and a
"greener thumb" with flowers, shrubs and trees, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has
the publications to get you started. All are based on USDA research. Pick the ones
you think will be most useful. Order from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Send check or money order — no
G 25 Roses for the home $0.15
G 51 Better Lawns .15
G 53 Lawn Insects: How to Control Them .15
G 65 Growing Chrysanthemums in the Home Garden .05
G 66 Growing Iris in the Home Garden .05
G 71 Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons .05
G 79 Controlling Lawn Weeds with Herbicides .10
G 80 Home Propagation of Ornamental Trees and Shrubs .10
G 83 Pruning Shade Trees and Repairing Their Injuries .10
G 86 Growing Camellias .10
G 88 Growing the Flowering Dogwood .05
G 89 Selecting Fertilizers for Lawns and Gardens .05
G 91 Growing Flowering Annuals . 10
G 102 Iron Deficiency in Plants : How to Control It in
Yards and Gardens .15
G 104 Protecting Shade Trees During Home Construction .05
G 114 Growing Flowering Perennials . 15
G 117 Trees for Shade and Beauty: Their Selection and Care .10
G 120 Growing Boxwoods .10
L 439 Spring-Flowering Bulbs .05
Bogus Blossoms . Take another look. That rare begonia on the florist's shelf may well
be a common species of polyethylene. Eight out of 10 U.S. florists sell artificial
plants and flowers along with fresh ones, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports.
Two out of five purchases of the artificial blooms are for home use.
IN THE HOME
Protecting Woolens . It's that time of year again — when you put away your woolies and
dig out summer cottons. And, as usual, the question of what to do about moths pops up.
An eight-page booklet put out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture answers the ques-
tion for you. It pictures — in living color — the bugs you should look out for: the
black carpet beetle, the furniture carpet beetle and the webbing clothes moth. You can
see them as larva, pupa and adult, and, in the case of the moths, as cocoons. How to
keep these pests away from your house and how to handle them should they come visiting
is explained in detail. The booklet is free from the Office of Information, U.S. De-
partment of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250. Ask for "Protecting Woolens against
Clothes Moths and Carpet Beetles," G-113.
Enlightened . The size of the glass bowl on your lamp pretty much determines how big a
bulb you can use, say lighting specialists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A
bowl with a 6-inch top can take a 100-watt bulb; an 8-inch bowl, 150 watts; 9 1/4
inches, 200 watts; 10 inches, 300 watts. Plastic bowls, however, may discolor at this
wattage. Use tjp& next smaller size bulb for each of these sizes if your reflector is
3 1262 08740 0452
SALUTE TO SENIOR CITIZENS
Don't Count Oldsters Out . We could have 20 States with population all aged 65 years
and over. We could, but we don't. Instead, these senior citizens are spread over the
entire nation — some 2,242,000 of them. Many make valuable contributions to their com-
munities. Does your town need willing people to help carry out civic projects? En-
courage your senior citizens to take part. They can also offer the experience, talent
and skills needed, but so often hard to find. Here are some ways "oldsters" can and
do contribute: Operation Green Thumb where older low-income people help beautify
highways; as VISTA workers (about 450 of the 3,100 VISTA volunteers are over the age
of 60); as foster grandparents; as home health aides.
May is Senior Citizens Month, the time the Nation pays special tribute to its
older people. Why not include them in your community activities?
Soil, Water and Suburbia . "The quality of living for millions of Americans at the
turn of the 20th into the 21st century will be determined largely by the quality of
the planning and developing of suburbia fringe areas in the years immediately ahead."
With these words Secretary of Agriculture Orville L. Freeman and Secretary of Housing
and Urban Development Robert C. Weaver point up the critical problems created by our
rapidly growing urban development. To seek solutions of land and water management
problems in suburban development, a national conference has been called for June 15
and 16 at the Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. Invited are land devel-
opers, investors, planners, architects, engineers, scientists, and State, county and
IN THE KITCHEN
A Cup of Flour . The recipe reads: 1 cup of flour. Do you follow it? Not if you're
using instant flour, say USDA researchers. When baking with instant flour, remove two
level tablespoons out of each cup of flour listed in the recipe. If you don't — as per-
haps you have already discovered — your popovers won't pop properly; your cream puff
won't puff, and your muffins will be heavy. In pastries, add a little extra fat. It
will help overcome the tendency of instant flour to soak up water. Whatever you do,
don't try to even things up by adding more water. You'll ruin whatever you're making.
Beef and Veal in Family Meals . Cuts of meat have different names in different parts of
the country — even from store to store in the same town. Learn to identify meat cuts by
their appearance. Look at the bones. They are an excellent guide to cut and cooking
method. T-bone, rib, pin, flat and wedge bones indicated relatively tender beef, good
for broiling and roasting. The round bones, arm and blade bones occur in less tender
cuts that need to be braised or pot roasted. This fact — and many more--are found in
"Beef and Veal in Family Meals," a new USDA consumer publication. To illustrate the
various cuts of beef and veal, there are four and a half pages of actual photos. The
booklet, designed to tell consumers how to buy, store and prepare beef and veal, also
offers 6 pages of recipes. Copies may be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. The price: 15 cents.
SERVICE is a monthly newsletter of "consumer interest".' It" is designed' for those' who
report to the individual consumer rather than for mass distribution. For information
about items in this issue, write: Jeanne S. Park, Editor, SERVICE, Office of Infor-
mation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, D.C. 20250.